Brendan Dawes's work, Cinema Redux, inspired me to take a serious look at how one would go about quantifying the amount of 'redness' that pervaded the Chinese media. Would the resulting outcome help prove that I had a legitimate concern or would it dispel my exaggeratted worry?
I chose CCTV gala, the Lunar New Year celebration TV program with an all-night stage show with acts ranging from traditional song and dance, to pop music and comedy alongside a heavy dose of state propaganda, as my experimental object to answer the question I had raised above.
CCTV Gala Opening Three-Minute Redux visualized the first three minutes video of CCTV New Year gala; each row representing a single second of the video time, comprised of 24 frames.
I digitally visualized just the first three minutes of the video for thirty years, from 1983 to 2012. The changes in density, color, and brightness were not only answered my concerns, also show the evolution of CCTV gala over last thirty years, the evolution related to TV technology, political state and national esthetic.
CCTV Gala Opening Three-Minute Redux was exhibited in the Carol Grillo Art Gallery at Endicott College. Some of the feedback I received from viewers was that they didn't quite understand where the vivid colored dots came from. Their response triggered a debate in me on how best to visually represent data - would a detailed approach or a more abstract approach work better?
Further research on this topic please check A Palette of CCTV's Chinese New Year Gala.